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Poster: light into ashes Date: Feb 22, 2010 8:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Fall '71

Agreed, fall '71 is an enjoyable time for Dead shows... I can kind of hear why, in energy terms, you'd prefer it to '72. [Though as far as 'youthful energy', no year comes close to '67.]
It's hard to put a finger on exactly what the change is (since the setlists are almost identical to early '72, just shorter) - but late '71 tends to have that fun, engaging feel that somewhat slips away in '72.
More banter may be part of it - Keith banging away in honky-tonk style - no Donna (& in December, still some Pigpen) - the new songs are played in a rough 'early' way that's interesting to hear.
It's kind of the peak of country-rock Dead; and the loose psychedelic jamming style of '72 is here too, but more concise. Setlist-wise, late '71 has some odd omissions - no Morning Dews, no Bird Songs, no Greatest Stories; St Stephen disappears after October; the Cryptical reprise is on its last legs & all but disappears after this tour.

This was also, famously, the tour where the Dead decided to have lots of their shows broadcast on radio. (I wish they'd done that in fall '70!)
Partly that was because their live album had been released in September, and was actually their most successful record.

I think it was the 10-21-71 show where Garcia made the comment, "You want professionalism, we'll have to charge another buck..."
Which is telling, because year by year, the Dead did become more 'professional', the shows got slicker, they had less of that 'man-off-the-street' aura.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Feb 23, 2010 2:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fall '71

The fascinating changing flavors and colors of the Grateful Dead ! That fall 71 tour definitely has its own feel . When Pig comes back, then Donna joins them, it is similar . Somewhere in the Europe tour is start to feel different . In that first London run ( Empire Pool ), songs like "Me & My Uncle", still have that "bite", later,as the tour goes on , the band sounds more "relaxed", more mellow ( but still with more energy, than the coming years ).
I used to consider the fall 71 > early 72, as a sort of "warm up" for the great Europe tour . But I now love it for its own special "taste" .
When they got him in the mix (!), Keith is a lot of fun in this period, more extrovert . Love songs like "Big RR Blues" , and "JBG" in this period .
They don't jam lots , but when they do, it is pretty wonderful .
I am looking forward to this RTs issue .

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 22, 2010 9:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fall '71

Yeah, I was thinking of youthful just from Keith's perspective, and the assumption that they may have put a little time into practicing (not sure) to integrate him, but that he was still coming round to how to work well with them, etc., etc.

So, just as we have discussed the effect that serious studio time assoc with the albums of 70, or the Nov practicing with TC and the lead up to the big Fillmore shows were possible contributors to a nice, tight (?) sound in live shows, I got to thinking something happened, good or bad, practice or no, in that fall 71 period too, and perhaps morphed some for whatever reasons as you allude, into 71.

Of course, I still miss the Eleven and StSt., but what they do with the OOne, and some of the DS's, still offer me something on those lines as well.